I’ve always been loath to tackle the subject of writer’s block for personal, largely superstitious reasons – but still I get asked what writers should do about it, all the time!
So here goes:
- Crisis, What Crisis?
First off, you need to deny that there is any such thing as writer’s block. This debilitating condition can only hurt you when you give it the privilege of a concrete name. Take away its name and you begin to take away its power over you.
Tell yourself, there is no such thing as writer’s block. There is writing and not-writing. Only writers have a name for something they’re NOT doing.
Think about the absurdity of builder’s block, or doctor’s block, or pilot’s block. Any kind of inability to write is similarly absurd.
Writing is like breathing – something you learned to do a long time ago without thinking. Stop thinking about it – and just do it.
- Stop! In the Name of Love.
If you’ve run out of ideas or you’re struggling over the next sentence, take a break.
Many writers agree that a short pace around the garden, or a quick stint at housework, taking a shower or partaking in a brief period of meditation can help to shift your mindset away from a block.
You need to interrupt mental stagnation by briefly doing something else. Again, you need to stop thinking about the writing and give your mind the space to develop another way in.
A short break will give you a new perspective. Don’t think about the writing, focus on the ideas, then go back to your desk and put those thoughts on paper, or the screen.
- Everybody Say, Word Up.
Play with words. Make a game of it. For instance, take two unrelated words from the dictionary and make a sentence out of them.
Make a list of cues to pin on your wall. My first kiss, my best train ride, the last time I saw Paris etc. When stuck, use your cues to kick start your mind. Don’t write, simply notate your thoughts.
Describe anything in your room. Describe someone you know from memory. Anything to get images on the page.
Again, don’t think about the words, think about the thing you’re describing – the characteristics, the emotions evoked, the conclusions made – and put those impressions onto the screen.
The quality of the writing is unimportant. Getting your thoughts out is all that matters.
Credit: Easy Way to Write